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Learn how to make the ultimate buttercream frosting with my buttercream frosting recipe.

Crazy Frosting Recipe: The Best Buttercream Frosting with Endless Flavor Variations

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Go crazy and make your own bold flavors with my light and airy buttercream frosting recipe.

Hi Bold Bakers!

By now you might know that one of my favorite ways to make bold baking accessible is by creating recipes that allow you to be creative and make my recipes your own. My favorite way to do this is through my “Crazy” Series. From Crazy Cookie Dough to Crazy Bread Dough, I share with you one master recipe that can be transformed into all of your favorite flavors. This Crazy Frosting recipe is the “icing on the cake” (haha) to my crazy series.

Imagine a fool-proof recipe for the most decadent buttercream. The master recipe for my Crazy Frosting is just that. This creamy base unlocks all the secrets to smooth and creamy buttercream frosting. Light as air yet beyond rich, my buttercream frosting is the perfect consistency for icing a 3 Layer Neapolitan Cake or topping off your favorite variations of Crazy Cupcakes.

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

The secret ingredient in this buttercream frosting is time. Most people whip their butter for a few minutes then start adding in sugar and expect a light and airy result, but it’s never achieved. This frosting recipe takes its literal sweet time to really incorporate as much air as possible into the butter. This means allowing it your butter to whip to perfection for a full 7-8 minutes. Only then do I add in sifted powdered sugar one spoon-full at a time. While this takes a bit of patience, it is SO worth the wait – this method will give you the best buttercream frosting.

The best part of my Crazy Frosting is that it’s completely versatile! I’ve included all the mix-ins I add to my buttercream frosting recipe – from classic vanilla to peanut butter, chocolate, strawberry and more. All seven of these crazy frosting flavors are next-level, allowing you to create all kinds of lovely flavor combinations. My Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is a perfect example! I know you guys will love all of these flavors. I encourage you to also experiment and make up your own crazy frostings. After all – that’s what Bold Baking is all about!

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

Not just a popular ice cream flavor, this frosting is the topping for a rich chocolate cake.

Lemon Frosting

Spring has sprung! Spread this frosting over a vanilla cake for your Easter celebration or anytime inspiration strikes.

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Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut Butter and jelly are not the only flavors that go well together! Peanut Butter Frosting spread over a chocolate cake is guaranteed to be a fan favorite.

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Coffee Frosting

The hint of coffee in this frosting will compliment and enhance any cake it is piped on.

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Chocolate Fudge Frosting

This Fudge Frosting is not only rich but fluffy and light at the same time. Pipe this chocolate buttercream frosting on top of a chocolate cake for ultimate decadence.

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Strawberry Frosting

Although summer is short, keep the season going with this sweet Strawberry Frosting spread onto cakes and cupcakes.

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Get more of my one-base Crazy Recipes including Crazy Cookie Dough, Crazy Cupcakes, Crazy Bread Dough and more!

4.38 from 45 votes
Learn how to make the ultimate buttercream frosting with my buttercream frosting recipe.
Crazy Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • cups (340g/12oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 5⅔ cups (680g/1lb 8oz) confectioners' sugar, sifted*
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Add Ins:
    Strawberry Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (21/2oz/75g) fresh or frozen strawberries, pureed and strained
    Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 1/3 cups (51/3oz/160g) cocoa powder
    Coffee Frosting:
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
    Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting:
  • 3 teaspoons mint extract
  • 1/2 cup (3oz/90g) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 drop green food coloring (optional)
    Peanut butter Frosting:
  • 3/4 cup (6oz/180g) smooth peanut butter
    Vanilla Frosting:
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract , total for the batch.

  • Lemon Frosting:
  • Zest of 2 lemons
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer whip the butter until light and creamy for about 7-8 minutes on medium/high speed.
  2. Once the butter is pale in color and light slowly add in the sifted confectioners' sugar one spoon at a time on medium speed. Let the sugar fully incorporate before adding in more sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, salt and milk or cream.
  4. Whip on high speed for another 3-4 minutes until very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  5. Add in the flavorings of your choice to create your desired flavor.
Recipe Notes

Sift the sugar AFTER you have measured it.

Use the buttercream straight away or keep it refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Before use make sure it comes to room temperature.

If you want a little bit of extra color add a bit of food dye until you've reached your desired color.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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152 Comments

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  1. Vineeta Gogia on December 9, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Hi
    Can this frosting be frozen meaning can I pipe it on cup cakes and then freeze the cupcakes?
    Also is this a commercially viable frosting ?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 10, 2018 at 4:23 am

      Hi Vineeta,
      yes! this is possible, but you will need the right container for the freezer.
      Yes, this is a commercially viable frosting, and is generally used, though not generally frozen! Baked goods for sale are always best freshly baked, chilled yes, frozen, not so much, people know the difference.
      I hope this is of help, professional baking is an early morning occupation, as I know well, 4.30am starts when I was working at this!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Debbie Young on November 21, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    I would like to use the fudge version of this recipe to decorate the chocolate portions of a panda bear cake that I am making for my granddaughter’s birthday. I have seen versions that use black cocoa with black food colouring gel to get the chocolate frosting black. Would you recommend the black cocoa or just regular cocoa with the black food colouring for this recipe? Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 22, 2018 at 3:20 am

      Hi Debbie,
      What a lovely idea! You could try this recipe, when it is warm it can be poured (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/chocolate-fudge-frosting/). You could color this, or make a gel mirror glaze to go over it. I think the regular unsweetened cocoa is good, good flavor and color, a few drops of a strong black color should do the rest for you. You can try a little sample before the big day! that will tell you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Debbie on November 22, 2018 at 5:20 am

        Hi again!
        Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly!
        I am not sure what you mean when you say when it is warm it can be poured. Are you talking about the frosting or a glaze? My plan is to use an 8″ and 9″ round white cake with vanilla buttercream for the head and body and 6 chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream dyed black for the paws and ears. That’s why I was wondering about using black cocoa with the black food colouring, but maybe I should just use regular cocoa powder as you suggested. I take it that you mean natural cocoa rather than dutch-processed? I know that black cocoa has been heavily alkalized so is that why you wouldn’t suggest it?

        • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2018 at 2:44 am

          Hi Debbie,
          Black cocoa is what is used in Oreo cookies, which is why they are so black. you are right, it is heavily alkalized, and this has a crisping effect too when baked with sugars. Usually for flavor you would use a regular cocoa powder and color, but you can mix the black and regular too.
          When I say poured I am talking about the fudge frosting, which I think is what you first asked about. It is a useful thing for some applications.
          Do remember that it does not need to be perfect, they will get the idea, and it will be eaten up in no time!
          I wish you well with this,
          Gemma 🙂

  3. Ashwiny P on November 18, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I’d like to know what kind of butter is required to make the buttercream? Would it be salted or unsalted?
    Also for a cafe, I’d like to know how long the frosting will stay on the cupcakes if put on display.
    Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 3:00 am

      Hi there,
      If you have baked goods for sale or supply you will need to keep them in a chill cabinet if you live in a hot place. This is a dairy product, it will spoil/melt at high room temperatures. In the US and in other places food for sale is heavily regulated to keep the customers safe, this is priority.
      get some advice local to you, I do not like to advise on this as the rules are different,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Ashwiny P on November 20, 2018 at 4:31 am

        Thanks for your response Gemma. Can you please advise on what type of butter needs to be used as well? Is it salted or unsalted.

        • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

          Hi there,
          This is a thorny question. I always use salted butter, but that is because I grew up with it. For you you may prefer a sweet butter/unsalted. It is a question of taste. Try a little sample to try it. it is proportional. One oz of butter to two of powdered sugar and a little milk. Easy to increase this recipe as you wish,
          Gemma 🙂

  4. Asma on November 14, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Hello. Can you please tell me how long can i keep in fridge once its made and how to preserve it.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 15, 2018 at 5:40 am

      Hi Asma,
      This is a dairy product, and it will hold well in the fridge for some time. However you really would not plan to keep this too long as it will need to be taken back to room temperature and whipped again before you use it. It is as easy to whip up a fresh batch. Do use real dairy butter for best results,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Felicia on October 21, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    If you make this buttercream, and decorate with it, do the cakes and cupcakes have to be refrigerated afterwards? I’m baking cupcakes for my kids schoolmates. I see cupcakes sitting out all afternoon.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 22, 2018 at 1:16 am

      Hi Felicia,
      This really depends on where you live, the temperature, humidity etc.
      Buttercream is a dairy product, it will melt in heat, so best refrigerated up to serving time in these circumstances.
      I hope this helps. A simple water icing/glaze may be more suitable to a hot place. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/donut-glaze-recipes/) these glaze recipes will help,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Cristina on October 13, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Hi Gemma, both my 14 year old daughter and I found this buttercream too sweet. I followed all your great hints and advice on how to make it, it was beautifully light and fluffy and I will definitely make it again, but with a lot less sugar . Thanks for your great recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      HI Christina,

      let me know how your got on with less sugar. Whip it up really well and then it tends not to be as sweet.

      Best,
      Gemma.

    • cristina on October 15, 2018 at 1:23 am

      Hi Gemma, can I take my comments back please. I used the buttercream to fill and cover my Victoria sponge and left it overnight in the fridge. When we ate the cake the next day at my daughter’s birthday party it tasted amazing, nowhere near as sweet as when we had just made it! It was so good that most of the guests had second helpings! I may reduce the sugar a little next time but it is really a fantastic buttercream recipe. Thanks again.

      • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 8:12 am

        Hi Cristina,
        Buttercream does tend to be sweet, but what changes it is really the amount we eat with the cake, the balance if you will.
        I am happy you had a success with this in the end. Reducing the sugar may not be so easy, it is a traditional enough recipe, it may be better to reduce the amount you use.
        Thank you for taking the time to get back to me,
        Gemma 🙂

  7. Nancy Martinez on October 12, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    How much buttercream do i use to make each frosting an how many cupcakes to they make

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      around 4 tablespoon is enough per cupcake 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  8. Jenn Davis on October 10, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    Could I add your salted caramel to make a caramel buttercream? If so, how much would I add? Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 4:11 am

      Hi Jenn,
      Yes. There are a couple of provisos. You will need to use unsalted butter, and increase the powdered sugar, and you will need to judge this as I have not done it. This is a liquid ingredient, so it will need a bit of help to set up. Omit the milk too as it would be too much.
      I cannot really guide the measurements until I test it, I am sorry,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Tessa on October 5, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Hi Gemma
    I’m Tessa and I would like to try your cupcakes with this frosting recipe, but I’m a bit confused.
    This recipe is said to be for 4 cups… Do you mean 4 cupcakes or is it an american measurement?
    greetings from Brussels

    • Gemma Stafford on October 6, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Tessa.,

      This recipe makes around 4 mercian cups of frosting. 🙂 over 16oz.

      Best,
      Gemma

  10. Nhora Baturi Parallag on September 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    HELLO. what kind of milk did you used in making the frosting.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 28, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Hi,

      Just regular low fat dairy milk but you can use whatever you like.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  11. Yu She on September 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    How much of crazy frosting should I mix with the list of different flavors?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 25, 2018 at 3:08 am

      Hi there,
      The flavors here are total for the batch.
      After that it depends on what you want to use. Each cupcake will take about 1 tablespoon of the buttercream. To this you add what you think will work well for your taste, check as you go,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Nancy on September 18, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Hello Gamma,
    I love your recipes. Where we can use buttercream frosting and whip cream frosting? Please explain both..

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Hi Nancy,
      The type of cream you use will dictate how you use it.
      The cream which I use for most of my recipes is fresh dairy cream. This needs to be at least 35% fat content to whip well. This is from cows milk. It is a liquid product found in the chill cabinet in your store. It will spoil in a few days, even when refrigerated. It has no additives, it is just natural cream, skimmed from milk.
      In some places, where there is no dairy industry, there are manufactured products, usually made with milk powders and fats. These are good for some applications, but they are not fresh cream. These may well work in a frosting but I have no experience of them.
      A whipped cream frosting is used in a light sponge or meringue cake/roulade etc.
      A buttercream is more robust, will work well in a firmer sponge, as it will hold up to a bit of weight.
      All dairy suffers at high temperatures, and this may be your challenge.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Marieljbeckman on September 6, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Good afternoon,
    I’m curious as to how well your crazy buttercream holds up? Does it melt or get to runny when sitting out on display?
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on September 7, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Hi there,
      All dairy foods should be kept under refrigeration up to the point of sale. Buttercream falls into this category. Room temperature too is so variable, in a hot country any butter/dairy product will melt, and actually spoil if left out too long.
      If you are talking about a cafe or restaurant there are rules here in the US and in other parts of the world, temperature control is vital to keep food safe.
      In Ireland, where I grew up, a frosted cake would be good at home at room temperature for a time, but the temperature hardly ever goes over 20C.
      I am sorry, I find it difficult to advise on this as I do not have enough information,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Christina Williams on September 2, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    hello just starting out with your recipes, but have been watching you for a long time.
    I cant wait to make these things.

    but one question, this recipe calls for lemon zest of 2 lemons for the lemon frosting. I have used zest before, but not sure how much you mean? is there a certain amount, equivalent to some sort of measurement?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 3, 2018 at 2:02 am

      Hi Christine,
      Good to have you here with us.
      No, there is not a particular measure of this. The zest of two lemons would flavor the full batch of the buttercream mix. 1/2 teaspoon of this would flavor the topping for one cupcake. It is a matter of taste. Lemons should be washed in warm water, dried and then zested. They are often waxed to preserve them, and organic lemons form their own waxy preservative.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Christina Williams on September 3, 2018 at 2:10 am

        Thanks, Gemma. I figured as much, I just wanted to be certain.
        I love watching you, and listening. Parts of my family is from Ireland, and I have always loved the accent and wonder what I would sound like if I had grown up there. Keep up all your great work!

        • Gemma Stafford on September 3, 2018 at 3:22 am

          Christina, you need to go back! take a trip, you might decide to stay, and you will be welcome too.
          It is good that you are here with us, we are a global community now, really interesting,
          Gemma 🙂

  15. robbie1050 on September 2, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Hello Again Gemma!
    I just wanted to say, Thank You for making me a Better Baker! I am a great cook (Chef), but i never could bake anything but a box cake until I tuned into your channel on YouTube and that’s when I thought that I’d give this a try! And you given me a new look at things to bake or to try and it’s been fun and delicious!! Thanks Gemma!!😁👍👍

    • Gemma Stafford on September 3, 2018 at 4:15 am

      H Robbie,
      Thank you, that is so good to hear.
      I focused on baking in my career, and though I was classically trained as a chef really hardly ever used this in work, but at home I love to get back to that.
      You have focused on the good stuff, and I bet you are a great chef too, so the transition would not be too hard for you. I ma delighted you are here with us. You can add to our knowledge here, it will be great to have your input,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Tanya Goel on August 29, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Hi Gemma
    I love your page
    Can this frosting be use to make butter cream flowers???

    • Gemma Stafford on August 29, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Hi Tanya,

      Glad you like my recipes. Yes absolutely use it for buttercream flowers 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

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